County residents have opportunity to serve on local committees

The Mecosta County Board of Commissioners will review applications from county residents who are interested in serving on local boards and committees. Residents in Mecosta and Osceola counties are encouraged to apply to join committees to fill vacancies and become more civically engaged. (Pioneer file photo)

MECOSTA, OSCEOLA COUNTY — Residents in Mecosta and Osceola counties have the opportunity to become involved in local government and serve as a voice for the community.

In order to become more civically engaged, area residents are encouraged to apply to join several county boards and committees which serve the needs of the two counties.

Mecosta County Administrator Paul Bullock said there are currently vacancies on several county committees, including the Area Agency on Aging, Building Board of Appeals, Central Michigan Mental Health, Parks Commission, Public Works Department, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Commission on Aging, Mecosta/Osceola County Transit, Planning Commission and Zoning Appeal Board.

In Osceola County, Community Development Coordinator Dan Massy said he was aware of vacancies on the Planning Commission and Housing Committee, as well as the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, although he is not actively searching to fill the vacancies for the authority as there are no ongoing projects.

“I think it’s getting harder and harder to find people willing to be involved in local government,” Bullock said.

Massy explained part of the reasoning behind this difficulty may be peoples’ schedules and the challenge of being able to attend the meetings associated with different committees.

Interested people can apply to serve on the committees for their county of residence, and after the application is reviewed, it will go before the board of commissioners for a final decision, Massy said.

Bullock said although a deadline of Nov. 9 was in place for residents of Mecosta County to fill out an interest indicator form to be on local committees, if there are still vacancies after the Board of Commissioners appoints applicants to the open positions, people can submit a form and apply after this date.

Massy added people in Osceola County also are welcome to apply for vacant positions on committees at any time throughout the year.

As there currently are multiple open seats on these local committees, Bullock and Massy both reiterated the importance of having community members involved in government.

“It allows individuals to learn a little bit and get involved, and it can be interesting,” Massy said.

Bullock said it takes many people to keep local government running effectively; therefore, it is important to encourage people to participate.

“I think it’s an eye-opening experience for people to be involved in local government or committees,” Bullock said. “All government decisions are made by people, hopefully for people and for the community. We need good people to help with that process.”

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